The New York Mets have found their new manager, and it's not the guy everyone thought it would be.
According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, the Mets have hired Carlos Mendoza to be their new manager. Mendoza, 43, spent the past four years as bench coach for the New York Yankees.
Mendoza is being brought on to right the ship after a disastrous 2023. The Mets, helmed by manager Buck Showalter, had a pitching rotation with big names and an offense headlined by one of the best home run hitters in the game. But things went downhill quickly. They lost one of their starting pitchers just minutes before he was due to make his season debut, and the offense completely sputtered from there. Showalter was fired several days before the season was due to end.
Mendoza has his work cut out for him because the Mets' on-field product isn't the only thing that needs fixing. The team reportedly had clubhouse issues throughout the 2023 season, largely focused on effort and attention,.
Why didn't the Mets hire Craig Counsell?
Reports have been swirling for months about Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell taking the job, especially given that his old GM, David Stearns, is now the Mets' president of baseball operations. Counsell's contract in Milwaukee ended at the conclusion of the 2023 season, and it seemed like it would be the perfect opportunity for the very successful duo to reunite on a new team.
That all went out the window around 1 p.m. ET Monday. The Mets made their announcement about Mendoza, which led many to assume that Counsell would return to the Brewers. But The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported that Counsell would not be returning to Milwaukee and would instead take a job with a team that had an existing manager.
The identity of that team was revealed a short time later, when Rosenthal reported that Counsell would be joining the Chicago Cubs.
Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that the Mets made "a serious run at Counsell," but it would've been hard to beat the Cubs. They're reportedly giving Counsell an unprecedented five-year, $40 million contract that will make him the highest-paid manager in baseball.